US$56 million supplementary loan from IFAD to the United Republic of Tanzania for agricultural development

Press release No.: IFAD/13/09

Rome, 19 February 2009 - A US$56 million supplementary loan from IFAD to the United Republic of Tanzania, for the Agricultural Sector Development Programme, will further support the government's efforts to encourage economic growth and reduce poverty by supporting the development of smallholder agriculture.

The loan agreement was signed today in Rome by Ambassador Wilfred Joseph Ngirwa, the Permanent Representative of the United Republic of Tanzania to the United Nations Agencies (FAO, IFAD and WFP), and Lennart Båge, IFAD President.

The agricultural sector in Tanzania comprises mainly smallholder farmers. It has significant growth potential for traditional export crops, thanks to expanding domestic and regional markets and to the relative abundance of arable and range land. The programme will help poor rural women and men living on less than US$1 a day to boost their agricultural productivity and incomes. The programme will also assist people most vulnerable to food insecurity, giving them access to agricultural knowledge, technologies, marketing systems and infrastructure.

The total cost of the programme is estimated at US$315.6 million over a period of seven years. The main sources of financing to date are IFAD, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, Irish Aid, the Embassy of Japan, the European Union, the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and the beneficiaries themselves.

To date IFAD has funded 14 rural development projects in the United Republic of Tanzania for a total of some US$269.2 million.

IFAD was created 30 years ago to tackle rural poverty, a key consequence of the droughts and famines of the early 1970s. Since 1978, IFAD has invested more than US$10 .6  billion in low-interest loans and grants that have helped approximately  350  million very poor rural women and men increase their incomes and provide for their families. IFAD is an international financial institution and a specialized United Nations agency. It is a global partnership of OECD, OPEC and other developing countries. Today, IFAD supports close to 250 programmes and projects in 87 developing countries and one territory.